Tool thefts prompt warning to van drivers
Police are urging van drivers to make sure they remove their tools when they park up, following a spate of thefts in North Shields this week.
Tools and equipment were stolen from vans left parked overnight in the area between 6.30pm on Tuesday, and 7.30am on Wednesday.
Thieves got into the workmen's vans, searched them and stole cordless drills, saw, grinders, batteries and other items.
Now neighbourhood officers are increasing patrols in the affected areas to prevent further offences.
Neighbourhood Inspector Martin Brooks said: "We want to alert people that these thefts are happening to vans used by tradespeople parked up overnight in residential areas.
"We're carrying out inquiries into these thefts but we're asking people to remove their expensive tools and any other valuables at night when they park up.
"We know that workers rely on their tools for their livelihood so I'd urge them, where possible, to remove expensive items overnight.
"It may take a few minutes to do this but ultimately it could save a lot of anger and frustration, not to mention financial loss.
"Simple steps such as parking your van with the rear door against the garage or wall, to stop thieves from being able to open it, can also make a difference."
If anyone sees someone hanging around the street where they live - behaving suspiciously, trying van doors or acting out of the ordinary in any way - or if anyone has information about those involved in the thefts, call the police straight away.
Anyone with information about these offences is asked to contact police on 10, quoting reference 144 19/10/16.